Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: June 4th 2015
Book Length: 450 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Phsyical Copy, Goodreads 
Review: 5/5 *Full Review Below.

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

What if you were the spark that could ignite a revolution?

For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice.

For Elias it’s the opposite. He has seen too much on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite soldiers. With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands, all in the name of power.

When Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commandant, ruthless overseer of Blackcliff Academy. Blackcliff is the training ground for Masks and the very place that Elias is planning to escape. If he succeeds, he will be named deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.

But once Laia and Elias meet, they will find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high and this time that price might demand everything, even life itself. 

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after.”

I read a lot of books, I’ve loved an hated a lot of books but I can honestly say that none have evoked the type of emotions that An Ember in the Ashes brought to the surface. My gods there aren’t enough words that can describe how incredible and sensationally written this book was.

This title has been sat on my bookshelf just waiting to be read, the joke was on me because I completely regret not reading this sooner. This book truly deserves all of the high praise it received in the past few weeks, I urge you to read it!

The story is told from two POV’s: Laia and Elias, both in first person which allows to connect immediately with the characters and mimic their every thought or feeling as if it’s your own. Laia is a Scholar and because of this she is classed as subservient to the Martials. Her mother, father and old sister died when she was young so she and her borther live with her Nan and Pops. Elias *squeals* is part of the Martial Empire and has spent the last fourteen years training to be a soldier, he is now a Mask; the deadliest and highest ranking fighter and is top of his class. However he is also the bastard of the Commandant AKA, the most ruthless, sadistic psychotic bitch you will ever read about. Enjoy my lovelies.

One night Laia’s brother is taken by the Martials and thrown into person, determined to free him Laia must seek aid from the Resistance. The Resistance will not freely save her brother instead she must work as a slave girl for the Commandant in order to spy on her. In a world where slaves are brutally beaten and raped with no consequences to the offender and the Commandant will happily flay you or remove body parts for being a second late, Laia must tread very carefully!

This was perfectly paced for me, not slow but slow enough that I was agonizing of the when the characters would meet again and what would happen next, seriously I was up until 2AM reading this Oh yes, it was that good, let me tell you!

There is a romance in this and how I loved it, there was a slight triangle and no concrete decisions were made but seriously this book isn’t about romance it’s about Laia risking everything to save her brother. I actually didn’t mind that the romance took a back seat it just made me yearn for those precious moments with the characters also Laia isn’t your average emboldened heroine, she’s young, na├»ve and completely terrified, she doesn’t want to do this but she does so for her brother and it’s makes way for some serious character development. For those fangirls out there, Elias is totally gorgeous, ruthless but he’s also compassionate, kindhearted and such a good guy.. oh he’s perfect <3

“You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

This book is dark, twisted and just delicious to read with it’s completely addictive writing. I honestly read this with a pounding heart from cover to cover, with the added elements of magic, trials and old myths coming to life; it could seriously do no wrong. You guys definitely need to check out the Goodreads ratings if your still not sold on this completely gushy review. I for one cannot wait of the next book!

Look how pretty these maps are? Oh I loved this book so much!

Plus my cover is totally big and gorgeous, which doesn't hurt ;)

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  1. I loved this book! So good! Great review. :D

  2. I've heard so much about this book! I keep thinking I'm should just going to go buy it and save myself the hassle of waiting for it from a friend. High praise means it's a fantastic book, so I'm sure I won't have any regrets :) Great review!

    1. Yes Erika, you must get this! It's simply amazing and I know you would love it :D Thanks girl! xo.

  3. Looks like the hype didn't fail you on this one! I did love the romance because of the intrigue and suspense, and thank GOD this isn't a standalone anymore because I couldn't bear it!

    Ranu @ The Bookish Life

    1. Definitely not Ranu, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I wanted so much more romance and we better et it in the next book haha

  4. I also gave it 5 stars and apart from the love-triangle (more like square) I agree with everything you said! That was the only thing that kind of annoyed me ... it was unnecessary, I think. Oh well. I really, really, really like your review! Glad you enjoyed it so much. :D

    Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages

    1. I think your right, it was definitely more like a square it was crazy! What book seriously has two love triangles? haha, Yes definitely unnecessary with one of the characters.. it actually goes to show how good this book was because we clearly disliked the love-square :P, thank you so much Yvonne! x

  5. I loved this book too! I've been trying to write a review but just couldn't get my thoughts into words but you did it flawlessly! I can't wait for the second book!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thank you so much Laura! I'm so glad you loved the book, it's still all I think about! Oh me too, you just know it's going to be amazing :D <3


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